Will County Health Department Announces First Positive Case of Measles

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The Will County Health Department has confirmed a positive case of measles in Will County.

The Will County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working to collect additional details to identify and notify people that may have been exposed to measles, provide education, and recommend appropriate measures.

Additionally, the Will County Health Department is in close contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as the investigation continues. Case investigation has determined this case is related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago.

“Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others against measles,” said Muneeza Azher, Will County’s Communicable Disease Program Manager.

“If you are not vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to get the vaccine. If you are unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated, ask your healthcare provider to find out if you need a measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

“If your child is 1 year old or older, and has never received the MMR vaccine, contact your child’s pediatrician to discuss how your child can get caught up with their vaccines”

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection that causes a rash and high fever and can cause serious illness, especially in young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

A person with measles can spread the disease to others even before they feel sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9 out of 10 susceptible people (unvaccinated or have never had measles) who are exposed to measles will get sick.

Measles signs and symptoms generally appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Common symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, red or watery eyes and tiny white spots that appear inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek (Koplik’s spots).

A rash comprising small red spots generally begins 3-5 days after other signs of the illness begin. The rash typically starts at the face and then spreads down the rest of the body. An infected person can spread measles up to four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash has been present.

Measles is easily preventable with an MMR vaccine. The vaccine is 97% effective against measles when administered in two doses.

Will County residents are encouraged to review their immunization and medical records and contact their healthcare provider to determine if they are protected from the measles.

Immunization records recorded in the Illinois immunization registry can be accessed using the Illinois Department of Public Health Vax Verify portal at: dph.illinois.gov/vaxverify.html.

Most doctor’s offices and pharmacies can provide MMR vaccines. The MMR vaccine is also available at the Will County Health Department’s Immunization Clinic.

Appointments can be reserved for immunizations at our offices in Joliet (501 Ella Ave.), Bolingbrook (323 Quadrangle Drive) and Monee (5601 W. Monee-Manhattan Road) by calling 815-740-8143.

For more information on measles please visit the CDC website at: www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html

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